February 24, 2015

Over the past two weeks, I’ve written about the (surprisingly easy) process of adding solid state drives (SSDs) to radically speed up older iMacs, and the varied challenge levels of adding SSDs to older Mac Pros, Mac minis, and non-Retina MacBooks. Today’s guide looks at the easiest SSD installations of all: the MacBook Air and Retina MacBook Pro. A new SSD in one of these machines could have two, four, eight, or sixteen times the original storage, plus two to four times faster speeds.

Apple shipped most MacBook Airs and all Retina MacBook Pros with solid state storage, so upgrading these machines for extra capacity and speed is generally as simple as picking a new drive, then using two special screwdrivers during the installation process. Assuming your MacBook is old enough to be out of warranty — except for a few specific models — you’ll find that pretty much anyone can handle this swap with the right tools. Below, I’m going to show those tools to you, as well as the MacBook-ready SSDs that are worth considering…

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Apple adding 9 new 3D Flyover locations to Maps

Apple today added nine new cities to its Flyover feature offering high resolution 3D imagery of select locations in its Maps app.

The full list of new locations rolling out is below:

Baton Rouge, LA Boise, ID Edinburgh, Scotland Cáceres, Spain Guadalajara, Mexico Ponce, Puerto Rico Venice, Italy Linz, Austria Rennes, France

The new additions follow Apple’s latest update last month that added another 11 cities from locations around the world.

As always, Apple has a full list of supported locations for iOS features including Flyover on its website.

IDC just released its latest numbers on the top smartphones by operating system showing iOS and Android continue to collectively dominate the market with both experiencing growth during 2014. Together, iOS and Android grabbed 96.3% of all smartphone shipments, which IDC points out is up from 95.6% in 4Q13 and from 93.8% in calendar year 2013.

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Facebook is out with a useful update to its Messenger app for iPhone and iPad today adding an action extension for sharing content from other apps on iOS 8. This adds the ability to have deep Facebook Messenger integration with other apps including Safari and Photos just like Apple’s own Messages app.

Once enabled, you can do things like share images and videos from the Photos app or links from Safari directly to your contacts on Facebook Messenger without having to jump back and forth between apps. Facebook Messenger version 22.0 is rolling out now on the App Store.

WordPress’s mobile blogging app for iPhone and iPad also received a new update bringing the experience closer to that on the desktop …  expand full story

Mercedes-Benz chairman Dieter Zetsche
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It happens each time there is talk that Apple is preparing to enter a new product category: industry leaders issue the standard statement that they’re unfazed by potential Apple competition because 1) Apple makes computers and 2) this is their turf, their expertise.

Almost like fulfilling the prophecy, head of Mercedes-Benz cars Dieter Zetsche recently did just that while discussing the rumor with Australian publication motoring.com.au:

“If there were a rumour that Mercedes or Daimler planned to start building smartphones then they (Apple) would not be sleepless at night. And the same applies to me.”

Zetsche added that his position in saying that Apple building a car would be like Mercedes building a smartphone is “full of respect” for the iPhone maker. expand full story

9to5Toys Last Call: iTunes gift cards 20% off, Lumsing speaker & car charger $25, Wired magazine $5, more

Keep up with the best gear and deals on the web by signing up for the 9to5Toys Newsletter. Also, be sure to check us out on: TwitterRSS FeedFacebookGoogle+ and Safari push notifications.

Today’s can’t miss deals:

Last Call Updates:

iTunes gift cards 20% off w/ email delivery from PayPal: $100 for $80 or $50 for $40

Lumsing 4-port USB wall charger $11, Bluetooth speaker and dual USB car charger $25 Prime shipped

One-year magazine subs from $5/yr: Architectural Digest, Wired, Dwell, Runner’s World, more

LifeProof finally begins accepting preorders for its first waterproof iPhone 6 Plus case

Small States: Etwas builds timeless bags with legacy and heirloom design in mind – giveaway worth $380

More new gear from today:

Headphones: Klipsch X11 in-ears $100 (Reg. $132+), Sennheiser HD205-II over-ears $25 (Reg. $50)

More deals still alive:

New products & more:

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